The woman’s menstrual cycle is an orchestration of divine nature. The process of menstruation is a complex yet ethereal cycle, involving a variety of stages and shifts that allow the female body not only reproduce, but also maintain important hormone balance that is vital to overall health.
Now beyond the years of feeling ashamed or embarrassed of our body’s natural processes, menstruation can be seen as a symbol of life, femininity, connection, and power. This nest of fertility can provide us crucial information about our reproductive and hormone health as women — but are we ready to listen?
Though there is no denying the effervescent nature of menstruation, for many women, this cycle can simultaneously bring on a barrage of unpleasant side effects. Things like cramps, bloating, mood issues, headaches, anxiety, sleep issues — countless women will undergo these unfortunate effects of menstruation each and every month. It is estimated that 80% of women will face symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual syndrome) at some point in their reproductive years, with 20% of women experiencing severe PMS symptoms that directly impact their daily lives. The intensity of these symptoms vary greatly between different women, but the prevalence of the condition remains high.
Because of these negative manifestations, a large number of women have developed a negative perception of menstruation throughout their lives. Experiencing pain or discomfort on a common basis can understandably lead to such reactions, as it can be challenging to embrace something that inflicts physical sufferance on the body. But, cultivating a sense of pride and admiration towards menstruation can be incredibly transformative, and it seems like the modern woman is finding new ways to attain this embracive mindset to achieve just that.
- Psilocybin meets Menstruation
Emerging anecdotal studies exploring the impact of psilocybin on the female menstrual cycle are revealing promising results in alleviating the discomfort of PMS symptoms. While further clinical data is necessary for a more comprehensive understanding of the subject, the dedicated efforts of John Hopkins researchers have now brought this remarkable possibility to the forefront of scientific attention.
Researchers Natalie Gukasyan and Sasha K Narayan interviewed three different women aged 27 to 34, who experienced changes in the menstrual cycle upon the use of psychedelics. One woman explained that her lost period had resumed after using psilocybin (the return of menstruation after amenorrhea), another woman expressed that her irregular periods caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome became regular again after using psychedelics, while the third woman said a small dose of psilocybin resulted in the earlier onset of menstruation (about 8 days earlier than normal).
Further research is warranted in order to decipher the direct and indirect mechanisms of psilocybin on the menstrual cycle, though it is believed that these changes are likely to occur somewhere along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.
The activation of 5-HT2A receptors on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) triggered by psilocybin use may possess various effects on menstrual cycles. Here’s a little rundown of its potential process:
A part of the brain called the hypothalamus releases a hormone called GnRH (Gonadotropin-releasing hormone), which tells the pituitary gland what to do.
When the pituitary gland receives GnRH, it releases two important hormones called LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). These hormones help the follicles (which hold the eggs) in the ovaries to grow and develop.
One of the hormones released by the pituitary gland, FSH, helps the follicles in the ovaries to grow. As the follicles mature, they produce another hormone called estrogen. Estrogen makes the lining of the uterus thicker, getting it ready for a possible pregnancy.
When the 5-HT2A receptors are activated, they can affect the release of GnRH from the hypothalamus and change the production and release of LH and FSH from the pituitary gland.
The precise mechanisms regarding this process are not fully understood, though we might speculate that the release of these hormones (GnRH, LH, FSH) caused by the activation of these receptors may impact the timing and regulation of one’s menstrual cycle.
With advancing psychedelic therapy directed to treat a variety of complex disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction, we can only hope that further investigation may add PMS and other menstrual conditions to the list as a result of these findings.
All to say, even though our sum of research is minimal, psychedelic-induced cycle changes make enough scientific sense to look into it further — something that we hope to witness in the near future.
- Period Tripping
Could there be a spiritual side to this phenomena also? With psilocybin involved, we might safely assume the answer is yes.
We all know that the slang of “Mother earth making a visit” is a sweet way of saying your period has arrived, but there may be more truth to that statement than we once thought. The reference to mother earth when talking about periods stems from the symbolic concept of fertility and divine creation, understanding that throughout history and within cultures, there has been connections woven between women’s reproductive systems and cycles of the earth.
The mother earth connection emphasizes the unmatchable connection between a woman and her body, and how it emulates the growth, fruition, and renewal process of nature.
With a better understanding on the earth-bound sacredness of menstruation, can we converge this deep connection with mother earth into a mushroom trip to further capture its very essence?
While being so in tune with the Earth, as well as our innate wisdom and senses, it is thought that macro dosing at this time of the month may bring transcendent insight and liberation to a woman’s body and mind. Dosing while in the menses phase of your menstrual cycle can provide a ripe opportunity for introspection, tension release, and therapeutic catharsis.
However, it is important to approach such a connective journey with intention and reverence, as the depths of the woman’s psyche can be unpredictable during this time. A more solitary and introspective setting may be more effective for achieving deep personal exploration, opposed to a group adventure driven by company and external stimulation.
As the depths of one’s inner world demand focus and attention, embarking on a solo trip during this cycle can be an incredibly impactful way to empathize with a cycle that has been causing you physical and/or emotional pain in the past. By engaging in this explorative experience, women may be offered a broader understanding of their unique menstrual cycle and develop a compassionate relationship with it, potentially fueling feelings of healing throughout.
Psilocybin is not thought to cure Premenstrual Syndrome; rather, it may be seen as a tool to facilitate further introspection and acceptance regarding its existence. PMS is a complex condition that can have significant impacts on daily life, and it is advisable to seek guidance from a medical professional if symptoms become disruptive.
- Mushrooms meet Hormone Health
Hormone health is a crucial element in menstrual cycles. It involves a mix of hormones that control the processes in a woman’s reproductive system. Estrogen and progesterone are important hormones that work together to prepare the body for possible pregnancy. Hormone health is important because it ensures that these hormones are balanced and working in sync throughout the duration of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Balancing healthy levels of estrogen and progesterone can be prioritized through things like stress management, a balanced diet, proper sleep, and other healthy lifestyle integrations.
Hormones possess a heavy influence on mood, energy levels, and overall well-being during different phases of the menstrual cycle. In women who struggle with PMS, serotonin is said to drop as estrogen drops. Women with low serotonin levels are more susceptible to symptoms of PMS, telling us that serotonin may have an indirect, yet impactful effect on premenstrual pain.
Boosting serotonin levels, especially during the luteal phase when PMS is most prevalent, can help regulate these negative symptoms by maintaining a good balance of “happy hormones” in the body. The menstrual cycle is a complex process involving various hormones and neurotransmitters. Therefore, further research is needed to explore how psilocybin may affect hormone regulation during the different phases of a menstrual cycle.
As an increasing number of women are finding the courage to share their experiences with menstruation, PMS, and PMDD, a growing number of articles are emerging on the internet, discussing the potential benefits of microdosing psilocybin to help alleviate these symptoms. Microdosing is an exciting and revolutionary practice, as it allows individuals to immerse in the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin without needing to set aside time for a full trip experience.
Taking into consideration the analgesic, mood-regulating, and other therapeutic benefits of psilocybin, it is not surprising to find that a large number of women have begun using small doses of psilocybin in the hormonally-sensitive stages of their menstrual cycle to mitigate the symptoms that accompany it.
- Relief from the Nervous System
Aside from the powerful potential of psilocybin, there are a variety of other ways to take the power in our own hands as we navigate the highs and lows of our complex menstrual cycles.
One system to grow familiar with if you are struggling with PMS symptoms is the Nervous system. Relaxing the nervous system can aid in minimizing the symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) by promoting a state of calmness and reducing stress levels.
Learning to control and relax the nervous system can have several positive effects on PMS symptoms and other period-related misfortunes. Firstly, it may help alleviate physical discomfort such as physical tension, headaches, and fatigue. By calming the nervous system, relaxation techniques may also help reduce the intensity of mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and other mental health issues that are often associated with PMS. Relaxing the nervous system can also help individuals achieve better sleep at night, which is thought to help regulate the important hormones involved in menstruation.
This Nervous System Relax tea has been carefully formulated to promote calmness and relaxation in the nervous system. It combines the soothing properties of natural herbs with the gentle integration of a subtle psilocybin microdose, to create a comprehensive blend that harmonizes all the benefits into one. By targeting the nervous system, this blend may also provide relief for PMS symptoms, including the addressing of inflammation that can arise due to hormonal fluctuations of a menstrual cycle.
We may also learn to control our nervous systems through mindful practices such as meditation, breathwork, and yoga. Practices such as these have been shown to activate the body’s relaxation response, which can help counteract the activation of stress, inflammation, and agitation. By engaging in relaxation practices on a common basis, women may mitigate the inflammatory response associated with PMS, reducing symptoms and generating a better sense of well-being throughout the duration of your menstrual cycle.
- Womb of Wisdom
Now that we have taken the time to address the negative yet prevalent conditions involving menstruation, I want to touch a bit further on the powerful existence of the woman’s womb and the captivating connection between nature and the reproductive system.
The vast concept of the divine feminine womb stretches beyond words, but to portray this lightly we may view the reproductive system as a symbolic landscape of intuition and creation. In such, we can figure that in a space that holds the capacity to create new life, there also lies a deep trove of innate wisdom and spiritual intuition.
Divine feminine womb wisdom can help us reclaim and embrace the unique qualities and gifts that are inherent in being a menstruating woman. It encourages women to listen to their inner sounds, trust their intuition, and honor their bodies as sacred vessels who reflect life itself. By engaging with this deep wisdom and embracing the divine feminine within, women can access a profound sense of self-awareness, empowerment, and spiritual growth through not only attaining this knowledge, but finding ways to attune ourselves within it.
Within our reproductive systems lives a Winter’s stillness, a River’s ebb and flow, a Spring’s full abundance, and a Summer’s restorative glow. However the seasons sway you, as you familiarize your womb with the nature that surrounds, always remember that the greatest knowledge of all resides within the carrier of this sacred organ.